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Is a tube amp purchase necessary?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by stringerman, Jun 21, 2014.

  1. BenM

    BenM Tele-Meister

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    Yes.
     
  2. Jim Dep

    Jim Dep Friend of Leo's

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    Two weeks ago in the Mustang vs Cybertwin debate, you bashed the Mustangs, saying that your friend had a Mustang that you didn't like. You didn't own yourself and had no interest in getting a Mustang.

    Now, you say you've had a Mustang V.2 for 2 months....and continue to bash them.

    May I suggest you keep your stories straight...?......:lol:
     
  3. jmaul

    jmaul Tele-Afflicted

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    Do you NEED one? NO.

    You have multiple amps you like, you don't need a new amp of any kind.

    Do you WANT one? Seems like it?

    My personal experience is that I've owned some nice SS amps and gotten them dialed in, thinking "man, this is sounding sweet, I wonder how much better one of the tube amps sound?"... then I fire up a tube amp and the A/B/Y pedal - the SS amp immediately sounds like refried dog doo.

    Many guys seem to get some great tone from SS amps that I can not. Same with some tube amps (ahem, AC15). It is a personal thing.

    If you are looking for an amp upgrade and size/weight isn't too much of an issue you have some serious clean amp options these days. I'd be looking for a lifer- a cheaper used twin reverb, bandmaster reverb, or super reverb, or in the SS camp a roland jazz chorus 120.

    I'd take your current favorite amp to a GC or elsewhere and A/B with a Twin Reverb- easy to find new or used and an easy clean tube tone benchmark. That should clear up your need/want situation very quickly, in a way that none of us can.
     
  4. stringerman

    stringerman TDPRI Member

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    Probably answered my own question.
    At church I play direct into the house system...However last Sunday for the summer we moved into our air conditioned Christian Center and I brought my Mustang III V2. I used the stock 57 Deluxe setting with a few tweeks and an Epi 339.
    Playing with a drummer..bass and 2 keyboards, my tone was clear and sweet. I don't think a tube amp could have sounded better.
    As of now I will use the Mustang when playing out and the Pathfinder at home. Of course I reserve the right to change my mind..Ha..Ha..don't we all?
    Your responses to my question have been very thought provoking.
     
  5. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

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    I started "playing" in 2001 and have been through a good hundred amps with all my buying/selling/trading. I'm in my early 50s, grew up on softer stuff but got into harder music in my teen years, AC/DC and the like, hair metal etc. still, when I plug in I normally play softer stuff because that's just what comes out of me. Having said all that I never really saw the "need" for a tube amp and the associated cost/maintenance. I owned a few older, smaller Fender tube combos, Champs and the like but never bonded with them. I'm not sure what has changed, and I still love my SS amps, but this last year I picked up a 63 Gibson GA-8T and a recent Fender Super Champ XD and wonder why I didn't have something similar all along? 13 years later I still can't play a whole song so it isn't my playing that makes the amp sound better. To the OP I'd say try a medium sized tube combo for a week or so and follow your ears. They know better than we do.
     
  6. morgansofas

    morgansofas Tele-Meister

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    I wonder if the Session amps man Stewart Ward would care to comment?

    There are a lot of sensible and balanced opinions on this thread IMO. I have SS amps, older 80s Peaveys which I think are great (Bandit 65, Special 130 Stereo Chorus 400). They're also very practical, and tough road amps, and many pros trusted them (Jerry Reed for example). But if I had to pick one amp out of those I have, it purely for the sound it makes, it would be my Twin Reverb.

    This is all subjective though. In the jazz world SS is respected (Polytone), but so many of us are skewed by the nostalgia trip that Fender have lead the marketing on. Ultimately it's down to you of course, and you'll only know by trying a few with a guitar you know the sound of. When I first played a Twin with a Tele, I knew I'd found the sound I wanted, but it took a lot of trying and buying to get there!
     
  7. Tony474

    Tony474 Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    I'm pretty sure that Stewart would have plenty to say on the subject, but very unfortunately he has been banned from this forum. Distilled into a single sentence, as I understand it his philosophy is that the technology employed in the design of a guitar amp (valves, transistors, etc.) is of far lesser significance than the manner in which the designer has implemented it.

    Certainly I'm entirely happy with my 1985 Sessionette with Stewart's recent "RetroTone" upgrades as well as with a number of other good solid state amps I own, each of which has its own character, strengths and weaknesses. I'm also impressed with what I've heard of his new BluesBaby amp. I do in addition possess a couple of valve amps and they too sound great for my particular purposes. But there's nothing that they can do for me that one or other of my SS jobbies won't do equally well.

    So from my particular perspective the answer to the OP's question is: "Necessary? No. Desirable? All depends, and only you, and not anyone else, can decide what you want your amp to provide for you and whether another amp, valve (tube), analogue solid state or digital modelling, will do so to an extent that what you already possess cannot."

    I'd also say, "Listen with your ears, not your eyes, gain experience, form your own opinion and don't buy into all the myth, folklore, hype, bullshine, kool-aid and other general nonsense which is often said and written on the subject."
     
  8. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Tele-Afflicted

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    Is a tube amp purchase necessary?..........Why......yes......yes it is.
     
  9. perttime

    perttime Tele-Afflicted

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    Millions of guitar players seem to think that a tube amp purchase is necessary.
    I'm pretty sure you know what they say about millions of flies surely being right.
     
  10. Tony474

    Tony474 Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    Is a tube amp purchase necessary? Only if you want to buy one of mine. Otherwise, not necessary at all. Possibly desirable, possibly not. See my earlier post.
     
  11. gridlock

    gridlock Poster Extraordinaire

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    Is a tube amp necessary. Yes, play one and you'll know why.
     
  12. Tony474

    Tony474 Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    I've played them for well over 50 years and I know why not.
     
  13. stax

    stax Tele-Afflicted

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    Strange that people assume those of us who use ss have never tried or owned a valve amp, we haven't yet seen the light or that we must be wedding band musician and not a proper one whatever that means?
    The original question I will remind people of again was is a valve amp necessary for a better 'clean' sound and that the op didn't care for breakup so the answer to that for anyone who has ever played a well designed ss amp is NO.
    Of course as usual round here people need to give their opinions regardless of any relevance to the thread including sir fuzz box or whatever his name is who after educating us says "clean is boring".
    I actually find those of us who get out there every week doing gigs are far more likely not to be snobbish about any gear and I know some great players even world class in fact who have no problems with ss amps.
    Tonight is my fourth gig this week and another tomorrow the Sessionette 75 and Tech 21 60 are in the van ready to go, you lot have fun staying at home annoying the neighborhood stacking your crappy Chinese fuzz and distortion pedals through your tube amps..:p
     
  14. Tony474

    Tony474 Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    You obviously have a better agent than I have... ;) :lol:

    Otherwise, every word a pearl!
     
  15. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    well this is kinda the point of the whole discussion, isnt it?

    SS amps sound great in a mix. they're dependable. they can bounce around in the back of a van without you needing to run back there and pamper it or wrap up tubes in socks. but we hear them in the context of bass, drums, and vocals. i challenge you to find an amp that ISN'T passable in that scenario haha

    the bedroom wailers are probably more tone-focused. all they have is their fingers and their ears. thats why they tend to be tube snobs more often than not. tube amps sound a hair better... no doubt in my mind. but i'm with stax, if i'm playing a bunch of shows back to back, i want the reliability of a SS amp next to me on stage. ill save the tubes for the recording
     
  16. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    :rolleyes::confused:
     
  17. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    unless of course a transistor pops...( we all know that's never happened !) then you might want to go to the car and get that tube head that's sitting as a spare ! or the SS..either one...:lol:
     
  18. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    i can honestly say ive never had a transistor fail on me... ever. even the cheapest, junkiest amps (ones i wished WOULD fail) never had an issue. i've pulled solid state peaveys outta the trash... gave them a good cleaning... and they worked perfectly. my band's PA is an old 70's peavey trash find... and we use the hell out of it

    dont get me wrong, im all for the t prior approach of having multiple tube amps... one for each volume needed (its how i roll, 12-50-100)... but a SS amp will get the job done too.

    i was wondering when you'd show up on this thread! :D
     
  19. gridlock

    gridlock Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sorry, didn't read the entire thread and to be fair I haven't tried a modeling amp or a SS amp since purchasing and returning a Line-6 Spider 6-7 years ago.
     
  20. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    Interesting ! I too have several tube amps, sure , 15,40,60 and 85... but I also have two Gallien Kruger SS amps I use for Bass..and a 120 watt Vox Super Beatle...so I'm not as pigeon holed as many here may believe. I have also owned and used multiple SS PV amps for Pedal Steel and would buy another in a NY minute. My comment with this thread is only to remind folks that if a SS amp dies on a gig, you are not reviving it. A tube amp dies on a gig and there may be hope, not a guarantee, but hope...well, if you carry spare tubes that is.


    I have no issues with SS amps, I've used them and hybrids often, but when a transistor pops, as is the case with one of my GK's right now, another amp gets the call !

    I hate working on SS amps. :(
     
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